Van-tiques Roadshow: Compete For Cliburn's Collection At Christie's
News > Music News
Anastasia Tsioulcas
Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM
Font size: A | A | A | A |

Pianist and competition founder Van Cliburn, one of classical music's megastars, has 150 items going to auction at Christie's, from silver owned by the Russian tsars to his mother's Steinway piano. The sale is expected to bring in more than $3 million.

On May 17th, the famous auction house Christie's will sell more than 150 items for pianist Van Cliburn. Now 77 years old, the Cold War-era classical music megastar and competition founder has long been a collector of fine English furniture, Russian art, silver and jewelry — and Christie's expects this New York sale to bring in more than $3 million.

Cliburn is parting with objects that range from a pair of George II-era giltwood mirrors (estimated to fetch up to $250,000) to two jewelry boxes made for Tsar Nicholas I that Cliburn bought for his mother, Rildia Bee. There's also a dazzling array of jewelry from houses like Cartier, Van Cleef and Buccellati that the pianist amassed for himself and for his mother.

For music lovers, though, the item of most interest will probably be the Steinway concert grand that was played by Cliburn's mother, the same one Cliburn himself used for much of his life. Profits from the piano's sale will benefit Juilliard and the Moscow Conservatory, where Cliburn studied.

But above all, this auction provides a chance to peek behind the curtain of a life writ large and to check out the curiosities owned by one of the few remaining classical stars of the hi-fi age — like a lavishly ornate silver tureen from 1840, once owned by the Russian Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. Cliburn's beloved mother used it to serve her "fabulous" chicken soup. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]



This article is filed in: Music News

Also in Music News  
Adam Levine Has Our Number (And Won't Stop Calling)
In 'Payphone,' Maroon 5's bitter little hit, the nearly-extinct device is a bridge to the past.

Classical Music Is Supreme Today At The Nation's Highest Court
Piano legend Leon Fleisher plays for the Supreme Court today.

Stax Bassist Duck Dunn Remembered In Memphis
As one fourth of Booker T. and the MGs, Dunn helped lay the foundation of Memphis soul.

Gil Evans, Essential Jazz Arranger, At 100
Famous for his work with Miles Davis, Evans brought orchestral colors and textures to jazz.

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered
NPR's Nina Totenberg recalls her late father's mastery of music, as well as his love of life.

Comments  
Post a Comment